Pocket Film Festival Opens in Japan

The Pocket Film Festival in Japan, showing movies made entirely on mobile phone cameras, kicked-off today in Yokohama. Forty-eight films, chosen from more than 400 entries from 18 countries — including Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea and Germany — will screen in competition at the weekend event, organized by the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. The competition has two categories, one for films to be shown on regular screens and the other for films to be viewed on phones. The winning film will receive 500,000 yen (US$4,500).

Sony to Demo TransferJet at CES

Sony has announced “TransferJet”, a new Close Proximity Wireless Transfer Technology enabling the high speed transfer of large data files (photos, HD images, etc.) between electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, computers and TVs. Using this technology, data can be sent at speeds of 560Mbps. Sony will present reference exhibits of this newly developed technology at CES International, to be held in Las Vegas from January 7th.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.

Taito Unveils Air Guitar for Mobile Phones

Talk about Mega Games, wish we had seen this at TGS in Sept., Taito has announced it will release a motion sensitive music application for DoCoMo 904i-series handsets (D904i excluded) in December. Their so-called “Intuition Band” game also makes use of the built-in camera sensor and a/v output allowing ‘players’ to create their very own mobile music! It will apparently also do other instruments, such as drum tracks (not sure about vocals?), and the company will be offering a free trial version via the i-mode menu from early November.

Sharp Develops Super-Thin LCD

Sharp has successfully developed a 2.2-inch super-thin LCD for mobile devices with a thickness of only 0.68 mm, the industry’s thinnest, based on proprietary fabrication techniques for thin LCDs, in particular, glass substrate and backlight technologies. This display will be exhibited at FPD International 2007 to be held at Pacifico Yokohama on October 24 to 26.

SoftBank Mobile Unveils New Models

As predicted, SoftBank Mobile announced their latest handset line-up for the upcoming “sales battle” of the winter 2007 season. The company has new 10 models on offer – 7 coming from Sharp alone – which will begin rolling out by the middle of November through the end of December. They have a dedicated Flash site Here and we’ve posted a few details with images after the jump.

ScanR Announces New Service for Japan

US-based ScanR will provide their new service to KDDI customers via the EZWeb official contents portal as of October 4th 2007, press release [in Japanese] Here. “ScanR” creates PDF files of documents and business cards from user-generated cameraphone images, and stores those files online to deliver via FAX or e-mail. The service, which can also automatically transcode business card information into file data to be compiled onto the address book of your mobile phone, is on display in KDDI’s booth at CEATEC this week.

Tokyo Game Show 2007 – Video Report

Tokyo Game Show 2007 - Video ReportYet another successful event for in the massive Makuhari Messe convention center saw almost 200,000 pass through the gates for TGS 2007. Aaaah.. the chaos, the crowds, the girls games.. how could we resist! A sunny Saturday afternoon brought out the kids – for family day – and plenty of Cosplay actors were swarming between show halls to pose down for the camera’s. But the real action, coming from every major player in the gaming world, was inside. WWJ has been on-hand for this event pretty much every year since 2002, with the first-to-web video of the Sony PSP in 2004, and this time out was perhaps the most impressive yet.

The obvious evolution on display was without a doubt the next gen. motion-sensor enabled Mega Games at the DoCoMo booth. While KDDI rolled-out the heavy armor with Metal Gear Solid and BioHazzard for mobile RPG products, the display which seems to have grabbed the most attention was from SoftBank Mobile. Thanks to Darth and the Tokyo StormTroopers, who un-leashed the new Star Wars PodRacer game, we were hooked from Go!

Casio Bullish on Overseas Handset Sales

Casio expects a 10 billion yen ($86 million) investment in new mobile phone models to return a profit in the first year, helped by sales of handsets equipped with its Exilim camera and G-Shock watch technologies. The handsets, based on the W-CDMA standard, will be sold at a higher profit margin than earlier models, said Tateki Ohishi, chief executive officer of Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications Co., the Tokyo-based company’s venture with Hitachi Ltd. Full Story Here.

Japan Mobile Phone Sales for Q2 of 2007

Gartner is reporting that worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users in the second quarter of 2007 reached 270.9 million units, a 17.4 per cent increase from the same period last year. In Japan, sales to end users in the second quarter of 2007 were 12.1 million units, an increase of 10.3 per cent from the second quarter of 2006 but a decline of 17.5 percent from the first quarter of 2007.